|Publication number||US6871902 B2|
|Application number||US 10/184,094|
|Publication date||Mar 29, 2005|
|Filing date||Jun 25, 2002|
|Priority date||Nov 4, 1998|
|Also published as||CA2349533A1, CA2349533C, DE69936395D1, EP1135270A2, EP1135270A4, EP1135270B1, US6408574, US6688044, US7021006, US20020062609, US20030057733, US20040154228, WO2000026048A2, WO2000026048A3|
|Publication number||10184094, 184094, US 6871902 B2, US 6871902B2, US-B2-6871902, US6871902 B2, US6871902B2|
|Inventors||Dale E. Carson, Jerry L. Farrar|
|Original Assignee||Transit Care, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (119), Referenced by (25), Classifications (17), Legal Events (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/395,692 filed Sep. 13, 1999, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,408,574, entitled Quick Release Sacrificial Shield for Window Assembly which was a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/186,513 filed Nov. 4, 1998 entitled Quick Release Sacrificial Shield for Window Assembly now U.S. Pat. No. 6,205,723 issued Mar. 27, 2001. This application also claims priority from U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/395,692 filed Sep. 13, 1999, and U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/186,513 filed Nov. 4, 1998.
The present invention relates to window assemblies and apparatus for protecting the glazing of motor vehicles. More particularly, the present invention relates to a window assembly for use in mass transit vehicles which allows the quick and easy removal and replacement of transparent sacrificial protective panels which protect the glazing of a window from vandalism and wear.
A sacrificial protective panel is typically a relatively inexpensive transparent sheet of material, such as plastic, protecting a more expensive windowpane or glazing behind it. Generally of the same shape and size as the glazing they protect, sacrificial protective panels are typically positioned against the glazing, with the protective panel desirably absorbing any impact and/or damage directed towards the glazing. Desirably, any damage to the window assembly will be limited to the protective panel, which can be replaced at low cost, thereby significantly increasing the useful life of the window assembly. In addition, various types of solvents which cannot be used on the glass windowpane can often be used on the glazing panels to remove graffiti. Window assemblies employing sacrificial protective panels are commonly used in mass-transit vehicles, particularly buses and trains, where vandalism and wear to the glazing are problems. Use of sacrificial protective panels saves the cost and difficulty incurred with removing and replacing the complete window assembly.
Various types of sacrificial protective panels and mounting arrangements for windows of mass transit vehicles are well known in the art. For example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,242,207 and 5,735,089, which are incorporated herein by reference, describe and illustrate window protectors for use in mass transit vehicles. While these arrangements allow the use of sacrificing protective panels, the installation and replacement process of glazing panels in these arrangements is typically a time-intensive process which requires a number of specialized tools to complete. On the other hand, window assemblies incorporating easily-removable sacrificial panels typically also permit vandals to remove these same protective panels, significantly increasing the likelihood of damage to the glazing. In addition, where a protective panel is held in the window assembly by one or more exposed flexible mountings and/or gaskets, such mountings and/or gaskets can easily be damaged by vandals, necessitating expensive and time-consuming replacement of the mountings and/or gaskets as well as the remaining components of the window assembly.
Hence, there is continuing need for improved assemblies for protecting window glazing in mass transit vehicles from damage. While some of the existing assemblies do provide protection, some of the existing assemblies are often more difficult to manipulate such that replacement of the sacrificial protective sheets, or even the glazing itself, is complicated. Generally, it is preferable to be able to quickly replace all of the necessary protective sheets and glazing with a minimum of time and effort in order to keep maintenance costs at a minimum.
Further, existing window protection assemblies typically only protect the inner surface of the glazing. It will be appreciated, however, that both the inner surfaces and the outer surfaces of the glazing can be damaged thereby affecting the appearance of the window.
A need in the art exists, therefore, for a sacrificial protective panel and mounting arrangement in which the glazing panels can be quickly and conveniently replaced with a minimum of specialized tools, but in which the protective panel cannot easily be removed and/or the mounting assembly cannot easily be damaged by non-maintenance personnel. Moreover, this mounting assembly should also be suited for protecting both sides of the glazing of a window and still permit easy replacement and repair.
The aforementioned needs are satisfied by one aspect of the invention which in one aspect relates to a window assembly mounted in a wall of a vehicle having an interior and an exterior surface. The assembly comprises a molded frame that is adapted to be positioned within the wall of the vehicle. The frame includes a transverse surface that extends through an opening in the wall and defines a window opening and an external perpendicular surface that is positioned adjacent the external surface of the wall of the vehicle when the frame is positioned within the wall. The frame further includes a seating member that extends inward from the transverse surface of the frame into the window opening such that the transverse surface of the frame and the seating member define a glazing mounting location. The frame further includes a flange that is offset from the seating member towards the interior surface of the vehicle and extends inward from the transverse surface of the frame into the window opening such that the flange is substantially parallel to the seating member. The seating member, the transverse surface, and the flange define a recess that extends substantially about at least two opposed sides of the window opening adjacent the interior surface of the vehicle. The assembly further comprises a piece of glazing positioned at the glazing mounting location within the frame of the vehicle so as to occupy the window opening. The seating member inhibits the piece of glazing from moving inwards towards the interior surface of the wall of the vehicle but permits the piece of glazing to be removed from the frame adjacent the exterior surface of the wall of the vehicle when the frame is positioned within the wall of the vehicle. The assembly further comprises a protective sheet positioned adjacent the piece of glazing such that at least two opposing edges of the protective sheet are positioned within the recess at the at least two opposed sides of the window.
A piece of glazing 14 desirably sits within the gasket 20 which surrounds the periphery of the glazing 14 and desirably cushions the glazing 14 from vibrations and/or impacts experienced by the vehicle in a known manner. The transverse base 22 and support face 24 of the frame 12 and the gasket 20 desirably provide side support and an edge seal for an outside and marginal edge of the glazing 14 in the frame 12. In the disclosed embodiment, the glazing 14 is desirably equal to or smaller than the opening formed in the frame 12 by the L-shaped support legs 18.
A retainer 32 releasably secures the inner edge of the glazing 14 within the frame 12. As illustrated, the retainer 32 desirably comprises a vertically extending retention member 36 having a lower vertically extending leg 34 shaped to fit into an elongated pocket 30 formed in the frame 12. The retention member 36 further comprises a window gasket 42 a supplemental gasket 43 positioned on the upper surface of the window gasket 42 and a protective panel gasket 44, with these gaskets 42, 43, 44 desirably extending outward from the member 36 towards the glazing 14.
Preferably, the retainer 32 is formed of a resilient material such as aluminum, plastic or a composite material with the extending leg 34 including a serrated portion which mates with a serrated interior of the elongated pocket 30 to tightly yet releasably secure the retainer 32 to the frame 12. Of course, one skilled in the art would recognize that various other locking arrangements could be used to ensure positive retention of the retainer 32 within the pocket 30, such as interlocking ridges, hooks, or the like. In addition, the retention member 36 desirably includes elongated spaced side cavities 38 and 40, for releasably receiving the window gasket 42 and protective panel gasket 44, respectively.
When the retainer 32 is secured to the frame 12, with the lower leg 34 positioned within the elongated pocket 30, the lower surface of the glazing 14 is desirably sandwiched between the window gasket 42, the supplemental gasket 43 and the L-shaped gasket 20. These gaskets 42, 43 and 20 are desirably formed of an elastic material having good rebound characteristics, such as rubber, silicone or the like, which allow the window gasket 42 to be compressed against the glazing 14 when the retainer 32 is installed and/or removed from the frame 12, but rebounds and pushes against the glazing 14 when released, desirably securing the glazing 14 in position and biasing the serrated portions of the lower leg 34 and the elongated pocket 30 together.
As shown in
In the embodiment disclosed, the protective panel gasket 44 is desirably T-shaped, a shape which desirably facilitates insertion and removal of the protective panel 16 from the frame 12. Of course, as well known in the art, a wide variety of alternate shapes and sizes of gaskets would accomplish the goals of the present invention, including triangular, rounded and/or angled gasket surfaces. Furthermore, the window gasket 42 desirably incorporates a flattened, partially flattened or curved surface facing towards the edge of the protective panel 16, an orientation which facilitates retention of the retainer 36 in the frame 12 by the protective panels 16. In addition, those skilled in the art will appreciate that a single gasket (not shown), incorporating the shapes of both the protective panel gasket 44 the window gasket 42 and the supplemental gasket 43, could be used in place of the gaskets 42, 43 and 44 with varying degrees of utility.
While not shown, the upper portion of the frame 12 may incorporate a similar retainer and frame arrangement as previously described, as may the right and left portions of the frame 12. Such arrangements would maximize the ease with which the glazing 14 and protective panel 16 could be removed and/or replaced in the window assembly 10. Alternatively, one or more of the edges of the window assembly 10 could be of conventional construction, incorporating permanent and/or semi-permanent retention walls. In such an arrangement, the glazing 14 would desirably slide between the permanent and/or semi-permanent retention walls of the window assembly 10, with the securing arrangement of the present invention being utilized on one or more edges to secure the glazing 14 into the window assembly 10.
If desired, the protective panel 16 can be installed into the window assembly 10 by various well known methods. For example, if the protective panel 16 is formed of a sufficiently flexible material, it may be initially flexed such that the edges of the panel 16 can be positioned against the glazing 14 at its edges, between the retainer(s). As the protective panel 16 is released, and resumes its unflexed shape, the protective panel 16 desirably passes between the retainer 32 and the glazing 14, where it desirably secures the retainer(s) 32 in the previously described manner. Such a protective panel 16 may be quickly and easily removed from the window assembly 10 using a suction gripping device (not shown), such as commonly used to transport windowpanes and mirrors.
Alternatively, a protective panel 16 could be installed into the window assembly 10 by providing a void in the upper edge of the window assembly 10, such as best seen in FIG. 4. In this alternate embodiment, the upper edge of the panel 16 may be inserted into the upper void 17, with the panel 16 being pushed between the glazing 14 and the protective panel gasket 44, into the void 17, until the lower edge of the protective panel 16 is raised sufficiently to pass over the retainer 32 and the protective panel 16 positioned adjacent the glazing 14. The protective panel 16 may then be pushed downward with the lower edge of the protective panel 16 passing between the protective panel gasket 44 and the glazing 14 in the previously-described manner, thus securing the retainer 32 into the frame 12.
As is illustrated in
In the embodiment of
Desirably, the outer protective panel 19 can be removed from the window assembly 10 by removing the glazing 14 in the previously-described manner and then removing the outer protective panel 19. In this manner, the inner protective panel 16 secures the window assembly 10 when desired, but allows the simple and easy removal of the inner and outer protective panels 16 and 19 and the glazing 14 when desired for maintenance.
One skilled in the art would appreciate that the disclosed window assembly, having outer and inner protective panels, could similarly be incorporated into a mass transit vehicle with the retainer members located on the outside of the window assembly, such that removal of the protective panels and retainer members could only be accomplished by individuals located outside of the vehicle. Such an arrangement would make it even more difficult for occupants of the vehicle to access and/or remove the retainer members from the window assembly, further limiting possible vandalism of the window frame assemblies while the vehicle is in operation.
From the foregoing description, it should be appreciated that the assembly and disassembly of the window assembly 10 and the attachment and removal of the protective panel 16 over the glazing 14 is easy and rapid. In particular, in assembly of the window assembly 10, the gasket 20 can be easily installed to the frame 12 via the channel 26 readying the frame 12 for reception of the glazing and any desired protective panels. With the glazing 14 and any outer protective panel in place, the retainer 32 is inserted into the frame 12 with the lower leg 34 of the retainer 32 seating in the pocket 30. The combination of frame 12, retainer 32 and gaskets 20 and 42 effects a positive weather seal. The inner protective panel 16 may then be inserted between the retainer 32 and the glazing 14, thereby securing the retainer 32 into the frame and inhibiting removal of the retainer 32 by non-maintenance personnel. In addition, the rigid surface of the retainer 32 facing towards the occupants of the vehicle desirably resists the effects of wear and/or vandalism, thereby significantly increasing the life of the window assembly 10. The removal of the glazing 14 is easily accomplished by removing the protective panel 16, removing the retainer 32 and then taking the glazing, i.e. glass, acrylic or other transparent and/or semi-transparent material, from the frame 12.
In this embodiment, a first retaining member 122 and a second retaining member 124 are pivotally mounted to the frame 114 so as to be positioned about the outer perimeter of the opening 116 in the frame 114. As is shown in
As will also be described in greater detail below in reference to
A pivoting member 140 is formed on an inner wall 142 of the laterally extending member 136 so as to extend perpendicularly outward therefrom into the opening 116 defined by the frame 114. As will be described in greater detail below, the pivoting member 140 extends the full length of the upper frame section 130 a and the lower frame section 130 b, and provides a surface to which the pivoting section 127 of the first retaining member 122 and the pivoting section 128 of the second retaining member 124 can be respectively attached to the frame 114 of the window protector assembly 112.
The L-shaped section 132 also defines a seating member 144 that extends inward into the opening 116 defined by the window frame 114. The seating member 144 is adapted to receive a seal 146 that is retained in the seating member 144 as a result of a deformable section 150 of the seal 146 being positioned within an opening 152 formed in the seating member 144 of the upper and lower frame members 130 a, 130 b. Hence, the seal 146 is press-fit within the seating member 144 of the upper frame section 130 a and lower frame section 130 b. It will be appreciated that while the upper and lower frame sections 130 a, 130 b have been described as being comprised of a plurality of discrete components, in the illustrated embodiment, the upper frame section 130 a and the lower frame section 130 b are comprised of a single uniform component preferably formed of extruded or molded aluminum.
The pivoting members 140 are positioned on the inner surface 142 of the L-shaped section 132 so that the pivoting member 140 is positioned within the opening 116 of the window frame 114. The pivoting sections 127 and 128 of the retaining members 122 and 124 define an opening 141 that receives the pivoting member 140 to permit the pivoting movement of the retaining members 122 and 124. More particularly, the pivoting member 140 defines a ball 143 at its distal end that extends outwardly towards the outer surface of the window frame 114. Since the pivoting member 140 is positioned on the inside surface of the L-shaped section 132 of the frame 114, access to the interconnection between the retaining members 122 and 124 and the pivoting members is inhibited. Moreover, an end portion 145 of each of the retaining members 122, 124 is adapted to be flushly positioned within a recess 147 (
As is illustrated in
As illustrated in
As is shown in
As shown in
As is also illustrated in
When the retaining members are in the closed position, a securing mechanism, such as the mechanism illustrated in
In this embodiment, the opening 196 is preferably formed in the bracing member 180 and has a curved opening to permit the extending arm 194 to be rotated into the opening 196 in response to the user turning the securing member 190. As illustrated in
As is also illustrated in
Advantageously, it is simple to remove and replace the inner sacrificial layer 162 and the outer sacrificial layer 156 and the glazing 120 by simply manipulating the retaining members 122, 124 into the open position and extracting each of the layers positioned within the opening 116 of the frame 114. Hence, the window protector assembly 112 of the illustrated embodiment allows for simpler and easier replacement of the protective layers 156, 162 and the glazing 120 as compared to similar protective devices of the prior art. As a result of permitting such easy access and replacement, it is now possible to have a protective layer positioned on the outer surface of the glazing 120 in addition to a protective surface on the inner surface of the glazing 120. However, it will also be appreciated that the window frame and protector 112 of the present invention can be used with only an inner protective layer 162 without departing from the spirit of the present invention.
Hence, the window protector 112 of the present invention allows for easier replacement of protective sheets as compared to window protective devices of the prior art. This easier access facilitates the use of a protective layer on the outside surface of the glazing as replacement of this sheet is now simplified due to the ease of access provided by the window protector assembly of the preferred embodiment.
In this embodiment, a first retaining member 322 and a second retaining member 324 are pivotally mounted to the frame 314 so as to be positioned about the outer perimeter of the opening 316 in the frame 314. As is shown in
As will also be described in greater detail below in reference to
As is illustrated in
As is shown in
A pivoting member 340 is formed on an inner wall 342 of the laterally extending member 336 so as to extend perpendicularly outward therefrom into the opening 316 defined by the frame 314. As will be described in greater detail below, the pivoting member 340 extends the full length of the upper frame section 330 a and the lower frame section 330 b, and provides a surface to which the pivoting section 327 of the first retaining member 322 and the pivoting section 328 of the second retaining member 324 can be respectively attached to the frame 314 of the window protector assembly 312.
The L-shaped section 332 also defines a seating member 344 that extends inward into the opening 316 defined by the window frame 314. The seating member 344 is adapted to receive a seal 346 that is retained in the seating member 344 as a result of a deformable section 350 of the seal 346 being positioned within an opening 352 formed in the seating member 344 of the upper and lower frame members 330 a, 330 b. Hence, the seal 346 is press-fit within the seating member 344 of the upper frame section 330 a and the lower frame section 330 b. The glazing 320 is preferably positioned within frame 314 so as to be positioned adjacent the seal 346. When the retainers 322, 324 are closed, the glazing 320 is compressed against the seal 346 such that the glazing seals the window so as to inhibit the entry of moisture or air from the outside environment into the interior of the vehicle. It will be appreciated that while the upper and lower frame sections 330 a, 330 b have been described as being comprised of a plurality of discrete components, in the illustrated embodiment, the upper frame section 330 a and the lower frame section 330 b are comprised of a single uniform component preferably formed of extruded or molded aluminum.
The pivoting members 340 are positioned on the inner surface 342 of the L-shaped section 332 so that the pivoting member 340 is positioned within the opening 316 of the window frame 314. The pivoting sections 327 and 328 of the retaining members 322 and 324 define an opening 341 that receives the pivoting member 340 to permit the pivoting movement of the retaining members 322 and 324. More particularly, the pivoting member 340 defines a ball 343 at its distal end that extends outwardly toward the center of the window 302. Since the pivoting member 340 is positioned on the inside surface of the L-shaped section 332 of the frame 314, access to the interconnection between the retaining members 322 and 324 and the pivoting member 340 is inhibited. Moreover, an end portion 345 of each of the retaining members 322, 324 is adapted to be flushly positioned within a recess 347 (
As is illustrated in
Advantageously, because the retaining members 322, 324 open only to the outside of the vehicle, passengers would be unable to open the retaining members 322, 324. This significantly reduces the abilities of a vandal to dismantle or damage the window protector assembly 312 from the inside of the vehicle, where vandalism is most likely to occur. Furthermore, passengers would be unable to open the retaining members 322, 324 to gain access to the fragile and expensive glazing 320. Hence, because the retaining members 322, 324 open only to the outside, the cost of repairing the effects of vandalism is decreased while the safety of the other passengers is increased.
Furthermore, as illustrated in
In the preferred embodiment of the window protector assembly 312, an inner sacrificial protective sheet 356 resides in the upper and lower recesses 359 a, 359 b. To install the inner sacrificial sheet 356, the inner sacrificial protective sheet 356 should be flexible enough such that the edges of the inner sacrificial protective sheet 356 can be bent over the upper and lower flanges 355 a, 355 b and into the upper and lower recesses 359 a, 359 b without breaking.
In one embodiment, a gasket 351 is positioned on the bottom surface 357 inside the lower recess 359 b. Preferably, the gasket 351 is of such a thickness that it centers the inner sacrificial protective sheet 356 inside the window protector assembly 312. Also in this embodiment, one or more retainer fasteners 353 are drilled perpendicularly through the upper flange 355 a, at a location above the upper edge 349 a of the inner sacrificial protective sheet 356. Preferably, the retainer fasteners 353 lie close enough to the upper edge 349 a such that the retainer bolts 353 prevent the inner sacrificial protective sheet 356 from shifting inside the recess 359. Also in the preferred embodiment, the fasteners 353 are removable only with a special tool such that a passenger would not be able to remove the fasteners 353 easily.
Preferably, the distance measured between a lower edge 349 b of the inner sacrificial protective sheet 356 to the top of the lower flange 355 b is less than the distance measured between an upper edge 349 a of the inner sacrificial protective sheet 356 to the base of the upper flange 355 a. Thus, after the retainer fasteners 353 are removed, the inner sacrificial protective sheet 356 can be shifted upwards until the lower edge 349 b of the inner sacrificial protective sheet 356 is exposed. Then, in order to remove the inner sacrificial protective sheet 356 from the window protection assembly 312, the lower edge 349 b could be grasped in order to bend the inner sacrificial protective sheet 356 out of the upper and lower recesses 359 a, 359 b. Advantageously, this embodiment of the widow protector assembly 312 allows for quick installation and removal of the inner sacrificial protective sheet 356, yet the addition of the fasteners 353 prevents a passenger from shifting and removing the protective sheet 356.
As illustrated in
Also as illustrated in
As is shown in
As shown in
In this embodiment, the sacrificial protective layers 356 and 362 are comprised of an acrylic material that is adapted to be positioned adjacent the exposed surfaces of the glazing 320 such that the exposed surfaces of the glazing 320 on both the inside and the outside of the window is covered by the protective layers 356, 362. In this way, damage to the more expensive glazing 320 as a result of vandalism or accident is inhibited as the protective acrylic layers provide protection against such damage.
It should be noted that the alternate embodiment of the retaining members and their attachment to the frame described supra and illustrated in
In this embodiment, the opening 396 is preferably formed in the bracing member 380 and has a curved opening to permit the extending arm 394 to be rotated into the opening 396 in response to the user turning the securing member 390. As illustrated in
As is also illustrated in
Advantageously, it is simple to remove and replace the outer sacrificial layer 362 and the glazing 320 by simply manipulating the retaining members 322, 324 into the open position and extracting each of the layers positioned within the opening 316 of the frame 314. Likewise, it is simple to remove and replace the inner sacrificial layer 356 by shifting the sacrificial layer 356 until its edge 349 b is exposed and then grasping the edge 349 b and pulling on it until the sacrificial layer 356 bends out of the recesses 359 a, 359 b, 375. Hence, the window protector assembly 312 of the illustrated embodiment allows for simpler and easier replacement of the protective layers 356, 362 and the glazing 320 as compared to similar protective devices of the prior art. As a result of permitting such easy access and replacement, it is now possible to have a protective layer positioned on the outer surface of the glazing 320 in addition to a protective surface on the inner surface of the glazing 320. However, it will also be appreciated that the window frame and protector 312 of the present invention can be used with only an inner protective layer 356 without departing from the spirit of the present invention.
Hence, the window protector 312 of the present invention allows for easier replacement of protective sheets as compared to window protective devices of the prior art. This easier access facilitates the use of a protective layer on the outside surface of the glazing as replacement of this sheet is now simplified due to the ease of access provided by the window protector assembly of the preferred embodiment.
Although the foregoing description of the preferred embodiment of the present invention has shown, described and pointed out the fundamental novel features of the invention, it will be understood that various omissions, substitutions, and changes in the form of the detail of the apparatus as illustrated as well as the uses thereof, may be made by those skilled in the art, without departing from the spirit of the invention. Consequently, the scope of the present invention should not be limited to the foregoing discussions, but should be defined by the appended claims.
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|U.S. Classification||296/146.15, 52/204.5, 52/204.591, 296/146.16|
|International Classification||B60J1/16, B60J11/00, E06B3/00, E05F11/38, B60J, E06B7/16, B60J1/00, B60J1/10, B60J1/20, E06B3/26, B61D25/00|
|Dec 5, 2002||AS||Assignment|
|Nov 2, 2005||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: MERRILL LYNCH CAPITAL, A DIVISION OF MERRILL LYNCH
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:TRANSIT CARE, INC.;REEL/FRAME:016722/0034
Effective date: 20051028
|Sep 22, 2008||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Apr 30, 2010||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: TRANSIT CARE, INC.,CALIFORNIA
Free format text: PATENT RELEASE AND REASSIGNMENT;ASSIGNOR:MERRILL LYNCH CAPITAL, A DIVISION OF MERRILL LYNCH BUSINESS FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC.;REEL/FRAME:024312/0494
Effective date: 20070608
|Aug 4, 2010||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: RICON CORP., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:TRANSIT CARE, INC.;REEL/FRAME:024785/0526
Effective date: 20100727
|Aug 29, 2012||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8